Agtech & Food:
Michelle Fifield and Meg Dunford
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Workshop: STEM Education – AgTech in the classroom
Workshop Video Link
Australian agriculture plays a central role in the provision of food and fibre globally. Accelerating productivity growth is essential to meet the needs of a hungry, growing population which is estimated to be 9.7 billion people by 2050. The explosion of new technologies in agriculture is helping drive efficiencies to increase production and face threats such as climate variability and water scarcity. The Yabby unit, developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, covers both the iSTEM (Board endorsed) and NSW Technology Mandatory syllabus outcomes, integrating content from multiple contexts; aquaculture, aquaponics and digital technologies. Successful design and automation of an aquaponics system using digital technologies will provide students with an understanding of how these technologies can be harnessed to improve efficiency and production in a range of production systems.
Coordinator,School programsMichelle has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Science), Diploma of Education (Secondary Science) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She has worked in the adult and school education sectors for 20 years. Currently, Michelle leads the NSW DPI school education program team,established to deliver teacher professional development, learning experiences and interactive teaching resources that showcase research and development, industry practice and careers.
Project Officer,School programsMeg is a Project Officer for the NSW Department of Primary Industries Schools Program. Prior to joining the NSW DPI schools team Meg was a high school teacher, teaching Agriculture, Science, Technology and Primary Industriesin regional NSW for a decade. Prior to teaching Meg worked directly in the beef and dairy production industries.
Meg is passionate about Australian food and fibre production. One of her favourite elements of her role is sharing what’s happening in Primary industries production and the NSW DPI with other teachers, at teacher and student learning events and through developing support resources for teachers to use with their students. Her strongest desire is to inspire children to engage with how important agriculture is to their everyday lives